Several players are from Minnesota, and playing hockey at Mariucci is somewhat akin to a Nebraska native finally getting to play in Memorial Stadium.
The Mavs stunned the crowd by taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Rich Purslow, Alex Hudson, and Matt White scored the goals. The lead widened to 4-0 on a Matt Ambrosz goal before Michael Young got hit with another five minute major penalty, his second of the season, late in the second period. The Gophers scored twice (once on a 5-on-3 power play) in the closing minutes of the second. Minnesota tied the game with a goal by captain Jay Barriball with just over three minutes left in the third period. Alex Hudson then buried the game winner with 1:36 remaining in the game. Things got chippy at the end, with Barriball starting a scrum after the game was over.
Great start for the Mavs, though losing a four goal lead is concerning. Tomorrow night's game could be tough; the Gophers should be a wee bit on edge after losing at home. Nevertheless, opening conference play with a win on the road at one of the league powers is a heck of a way to get started.